On the other hand, you did a fine job of letting me know about the traffic conditions when I asked. Thanks to the several of you who responded! This year, the trip from Vegas to Yermo and the bloody produce checkstand was as horrible as last year, but past that the traffic was fine. There was absolutely no wait at all in Kramer Junction, so last year's 12-hour trip was only 10 hours this year. (The baseline is around eight hours... 550 miles or so with captain leadfoot as your pilot and a few brief stops.)
The upside, if there is one, is that I got to listen to eight full episodes of This American Life, which is unquestionably the best show on the radio right now, maybe ever. Among the episodes was Habeas Schmabeas, an amazingly powerful piece about Guantanamo, the people who are there, and what it's like. It took big brass balls to make that Peabody-award-winning episode, and I admire and respect them for it.
I wound up buying a Garmin Nuvi 350 on the way out. It seems to be a perfectly reasonable beast, and it even found me a route that seems to be a couple of minutes faster but a couple of miles longer. It's not like I couldn't find my way to and around Vegas blindfolded, but it's still cool to have.
And now, I must go find some pillows and have mad passionate sleep with them.